The designation of Martin Soria as Minister of Justice, replacing Marcela Losardo, represents a new change within the cabinet that strengthens Cristina Kirchner within the Casa Rosada. Since Alberto Fernández took office on December 10, 2019, the presence of officials who respond to the vice president was in constant growth. To the point that with the confirmation of a new official as minister There are 10 landings that gave the vice president more power in 15 months of government, adding movements in ministries, secretariats or key organizations that function within the official structure.
Fernanda Raverta by Alejandro Vanoli
The first glittering change occurred at the end of April last year, when Alexander Vanoli he left his place as head of the ANSeS. Although he had been a civil servant in Cristina’s second term, when he presided over the Central Bank, the ANSeS had arrived with the permission of Alberto Fernández, which gave the economist a strategic box in itself, but which took on even more weight from the Covid-19 pandemic and the implementation of the Emergency Family Income (IFE).
Vanoli lasted less than five months in office, noted for having exposed thousands of retirees to long lines in full flow of infections. He was replaced by a leader from La Cámpora, Maria Fernanda Raverta, who came from being part of Axel Kicillof’s cabinet and who in 2019 had tried, without success, to be mayor of Mar del Plata. Cristina moved his first chip internal in the Rosada.
And Raverta, over the months, would be praised by the Executive for the three rounds of IFE that were promoted by ANSeS, for $ 265,000 million, plus other assistance plans launched. Internally, to his closest ones, Vanoli assures them that many of these initiatives were promoted by him in the first quarter of the Fernández presidency.
Darío Martínez by Sergio Lanziani
The next move was in Energy, a secretariat with the rank of a ministry during the macrismo, at the head of which he assumed Sergio Lanziani, who saw his management weakened almost from “let’s go”. Alberto supported it in those first months, backed by the Ministry of Productive Development of Matias Kulfas. But Kirchnerism was reducing its credit from the income of officials in key positions for the area.
It was only in August that he left his position, in which he was replaced by a Patagonian representative of Kirchnerism such as the Rionegrino Dario Martinez, until then president of the Energy Commission of the Chamber of Deputies. But the changes did not stop there. The secretariat ceased to be under the orbit of Productive Development and passed to the orders of Martin Guzman, centering the base of operations in the Neuquén field of Vaca Muerta.
Jorge Ferraresi by María Eugenia Bielsa
The third change occurred in November, after Cristina spoke about “officials who do not work”. The indirect aim was Maria Eugenia Bielsa, until then holder of Territorial Development and Habitat. The low execution of her ministry condemned the official, who had to give her place to a Kirchner bishop: Jorge Ferraresi.
The mayor -on leave- of Avellaneda is surely the community chief closest to the vice president. His arrival at a ministry that Alberto sought to reactivate from the economic point of view was directly due to his closeness to the head of the Senate. Cristina trusts Ferraresi so much that it was in Avellaneda where she chose to get vaccinated, at the Presidente Perón Hospital. He, like every time Cristina set foot in the municipality, accompanied her.
Pablo González by Guillermo Nielsen
On January 21 there was another change that shook the summer drowsiness. William Nielsen, Alberto’s chosen president of YPF, left his post after long months of tensions with hard-line Kirchnerism within the state oil company. His position, as happened in Energy, was filled by a dolphin of Cristina in Congress, the national deputy from Santa Cruz Pablo Gonzalez. Nielsen had a consolation prize: he left for the Saudi Arabian embassy.
Carla Vizzotti by Ginés González García
The next cabinet movement, the most resounding in Alberto Fernández’s 15 months of administration, occurred on February 19, after the scandal broke out over the VIP vaccination installed in the Ministry of Health. Ginés González García left his post almost immediately upon the revelation of Clarion and was replaced by Carla vizzotti, his second in the portfolio. Although Vizzotti is not an official directly identified with Kirchnerism, the departure of González García meant a setback for Fernández, who was forced to dismiss his friend from the minister’s post. And he reinforced Cristina, who came out unscathed from the controversy surrounding vaccination.
Less than a month later, another minister of the President’s kidney left her post and went to an embassy, that of Unesco in Paris. Stalked by a judicial reform that promoted Kirchnerism and that in its administration failed to advance, Marcela Losardo resigned and left the venue for a change that was confirmed Monday night.
His replacement will be Soria, a Rio Negro deputy who responded openly to Cristina Kirchner. A member of the Justice commission in the Lower House, he has publicly defended the reform promoted by Kirchnerism and has questioned via Twitter, to cite one case, the meetings that Mauricio Macri had at the time, as President, with the Chamber of Cassation Gustavo Hornos.
Other allies in the second lines
Before and after the departure of Lanziani, there were four movements in second lines of areas related to Energy that can also be interpreted as advances by Cristina within that portfolio, which brings together one of the agendas that the vice president is most passionate about. After the departure of a good part of Lanziani’s cabinet, as undersecretary of Electric Energy he became Federico Basualdo, until then head of the National Electricity Regulatory Entity (ENRE). Basualdo is seen indoors as one of Cristina’s men, to the point that before moving to public office he wrote opinion columns in “The Rocket to the Moon”, by the journalist K Horacio Verbitsky.
Basualdo’s vacancy in the ENRE was filled with more Kirchnerism. Instead assumed Soledad Manin, a trusted official of Basualdo and sister of Laura Manín, undersecretary of administrative management in the Ministry of the Interior headed by Eduardo de Pedro. Their father, Manuel Manín, was mayor of Lobos for the PJ, from 1991 to 1995.
Federico Bernal, head of Enargas since March 2020, is the other official in charge of controlling the energy area. He was an advisor to Cristina Kirchner in the Senate, from 2017 to 2019 and previously had worked in the Ministry of Federal Planning, which led Julio De Vido. His first decision, then, was to criminally denounce Juan José Aranguren for his management at the head of Energy during the macrismo.
An official loyal to Cristina also controls Yacyretá. Is about Ignacio Barrios Arrechea, a logging businessman from Misiones and the son of Ricardo Barrios Arrechea, who was provincial governor from 1983 to 1989. Radical from the cradle, he approached Kirchnerism in Cristina’s presidency, and took a selfie with her. He has been in charge of the electric dam since last June.
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